In the previous series of lessons, we went over how to amplify your current holdings, and in this next series of lessons, we’ll help you to go even bigger. Learn more about how you can power-up your amplification efforts.
This topic will be a four-part lesson, and in today’s lesson, we’ll cover these subjects:
- Partner Up
- Create a Referral System That Works
- Gather Up the Stray Sheep
One of the most vital parts of your business is bringing in new paying clients, and this is often one of the most laborious and most expensive tasks for your business. There’s a way that you can help to reduce the strain on your business, and that’s by partnering up. It can be beneficial to work with other trustworthy companies to create positive relationships with their clients. It’s essential that this business isn’t a competitor.
You’ll want to find prospects among your partner companies that you can talk with about creating an arrangement where you can promote your service or product to their clients. Commissions on the sales you gain from their client list is an excellent incentive.
When suggesting this type of arrangement, there are a few points that you’ll want to include in your proposal:
- Specify how your services or products won’t compete with what they offer.
- Explain how this relationship won’t impact their sales, now and into the future.
- Show how this relationship can help to increase their profits.
- Assure them that they won’t have to spend any money on this relationship.
- Let them know that you’ll be creating all of the marketing materials to be used.
- In addition, make sure that they are aware of the guarantee that you offer on your services or products to give them the same peace of mind as the clients that sign with you through this partnership.
Create a Referral System That Works
The next consideration is creating a referral system that will help to bring in new clients utilizing your current network. All of the people that you know are potential marketing opportunities because they know others that could use your service or product. To get started, you’ll want to demonstrate why your company should always be the first choice by showing how much you care for them.
Then, you’re able to show them how your company can improve their life or their own business by providing top-notch service to them. Acting in a consistent manner, you’ll find more clients coming your way through word of mouth.
Gather Up the Stray Sheep
You’ll also want to gather up your stray sheep. All those customers that haven’t purchased from you in a while are a great way to rejuvenate your sales. It’s important to figure out where things went wrong in their eyes, and help bring them back to the fold.
There are a few typical reasons for why a client stops using your service. They include:
- A personal cause that has nothing to do with your business
- An issue that came up with their past relationship, such as a problem with a previous purchase
- They no longer see a benefit from using your service or product
The easiest and best way to start bringing these sheep back into the fold is to contact them. Open up a line of communication. Not contacting them means that they’ll continue to avoid your company, but making an effort to get in touch can show you care about their business. Make an appointment or pick up the phone.
Be open and honest with your clients that stray. Talk to them about how you noticed they haven’t placed an order or used your service for a while. Let them know that you’d like to talk about their experiences, and how you could improve things to bring them back on board. You want to make them feel special, and that you fully intend to address what happened if something did going forward.
All of this information in today’s lesson will help you to power-up your current holdings. Need some help with any of these topics? Contact us today to learn more about how our services can assist you in moving forward.
We’ll continue this lesson in tomorrow’s blog with the next three topics.
Our last lesson covered three ways to amplify your holdings through:
- Explore your business’ conscience
- Enticing wheeling and dealing
- Stand out from the crowd
In this lesson, we’ll cover another three topics that you can embrace to get the most out of your resources. They include:
- Getting them to say yes
- Supersize it
- Don’t be a lemming
Getting Them To Say Yes
The movie, The Godfather, offers one of the best tidbits of advice in getting your clients to say yes in giving them an offer that they can’t refuse. This thought process can be the secret to your success in gaining a competitive edge to your competition. You need to open the way for them to say yes rather than no. This concept means that you need to eliminate any roadblocks they may have to say yes, such as financial, emotional, physical or psychological blocks.
One of the easiest ways to do this for your clients is by reducing the risks. Give them guarantees or warranties that can help build their confidence in you, your company, and what you have to offer them. This tip means that you have to stand by any warranties or guarantees your place on the service you provide. Not doing so can be the end of your business.
Fast food franchises know how to get you with add-ons and upgrades when they ask you if you want fries with your burger or if you want your meal in a bigger size. It makes sense for them to do it because it garners more sales, and the worse that can happen is that the consumer says no. Whenever you sell your service or product, ask whether they could use an add-on or upgrade to go along with it. Adding a complementary product to the one sold that has a value the client can see can increase your sales.
Don’t Be A Lemming
You also don’t want to be a lemming and jump off the cliff. You want to avoid the edge of the cliff by continuing to monitor all aspects of your business. Problems in product, systems, and even marketing can result in issues that can derail your progress. Keeping an eye on how your business runs to see an issue before it becomes an issue is beneficial.
Areas that may need improvements include:
- Your customer service policies and procedures
- You may want to explore how your employees interact with your customers
- Your marketing efforts
- Your sales copy may need polished or updated
- You may need to change up your sales letters and presentations
You can test these different areas to help you identify how you can improve your business. You may find that you can raise the prices on some of your services, lower it on others, create incentives, or other improvements that can help you to amplify your holdings better.
This final lesson completes the different tips on how you’re able to amplify your holdings to improve your business. Are you finding that you could use some additional support? Contact us today about how services can improve the way you run your business.
In our previous lesson, we covered three ways to begin amplifying your holdings. These included:
- See the noticeable
- Unorthodox ideas
- Be realistic
In today’s lesson, we’ll cover three additional ways to increase your revenue. They include:
- Explore your business’ conscience
- Enticing wheeling and dealing
- Stand out from the crowd
Explore Your Business’ Conscience
Your business is just like a living breathing thing in that it has a conscience. The conscience of your business was probably closer to the surface when you first started it. All of your passion and drive during the early months played a role in creating this conscience. The problem is that this often can get lost as time goes by, and you may find that your business stagnates. In fact, you may find that your business is in a rut.
Now is the perfect time to escape that rut. The biggest key to any business’ success is putting your clients needs first. Your business should serve your clients rather than selling them. Clients want a relationship they can trust rather than getting a lemon. It’s all about getting back to the basics. You need to help them solve problems. You need to handle any special situations that arise. You need to give your clients the top-notch service or products they expect. Be their friends while offering a value proposition.
Enticing Wheeling and Dealing
Sometimes it’s all about going with what you know works. Enticing wheeling and dealing is a successful sales technique that brings in new clients. You offer a low price on your service for their initial purchase, and this brings them back for more. You’ll see book clubs or credit card companies offering these types of deals.
You’re getting them in the door thanks to your initial low price, and then offer additional products along the way. This method helps to establish a relationship between your business and the client.
Stand Out From the Crowd
It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you have a lot of competitors, but finding a way to be unique will help clients find your business. Value and consistency are two trends that can help you get noticed. It’s important to identify your USP, also known as your Unique Selling Proposition). Once you’ve identified it, it’s time to develop it. Some tips for developing your USP include:
- Find any needs that are going unfilled in your business’ niche.
- Practice defensive marketing to always bring in leads.
- Be clear and to the point with your techniques.
That concludes today’s lesson. Think you need more help on amplifying your current holdings? Contact us now to learn more about how our service can help your business.
Our next set of lessons will have you looking at the holdings you current have, and how you can get more out of them. Learning how to amplify your holdings can help your capital stretch further and help to boost your profit margin.
In this lesson, we’re going to go over some ways that you can amplify the holdings that you already have in your possession. These tips include:
- See the noticeable
- Unorthodox ideas
- Be realistic
See the Noticeable
Often, a person that’s involved in a situation may have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees. It can be difficult to take a big-picture approach when you can’t see it. One of the first things that you need to do is to see the noticeable. You need to look at your current holdings carefully. There are plenty of opportunities for success surrounding you, your career, and your business. It’s just about being able to see them.
The next tip is not to ignore unorthodox ideas. You can’t wait for your next breakthrough to happen. You have to make it happen by creating it. Breakthroughs in your business are just ways to adapt to new methodologies or finding new things. Brainstorming sessions should be the norm in your company. You and your team should always be working on new ideas, and encourage your staff to come forward whenever they have them.
Examples of breakthroughs:
- Play-Doh was originally invented to clean wallpaper before it became the toy sensation it is today.
- The idea for roll-on deodorant came from ballpoint
- Nike’s founder used a waffle iron and rubber for his innovations with running shoes.
There are a few objectives that you need to keep in mind when going through a brainstorming session. These objectives include:
- Identify any hidden opportunities as you may be able to turn a negative into a positive.
- Every three months, you should be trying to find a cash windfall for your business.
- Your innovations will have more value to you when they add more value to your clients.
- Work on more than one breakthrough at a time to find the best innovations.
- The best innovations for your business will eliminate resistance and risk.
Innovations and breakthroughs can be beneficial for your business, but before they can be put into place, it’s essential to be realistic. It’s important to determine which of your systems and process aren’t working, and then find the best way to fix them. The best way to handle this is through a system analysis. It’s important to list your strengths and weaknesses to get a good grip on your current business standings. It’s also beneficial to then compare this list to your competitors. Think of it as a mini SWOT analysis.
Some questions for you and your team to ponder now includes:
- What was my reasons for starting my business, and why in this industry?
- What were my products and services? Which were popular?
- Why do my clients come to me for my service now?
- How was I getting new clients in the past?
- What marketing efforts offer the best results?
These answers can help you to shore up your weakness and improve upon your strengths.
These three tips are just the tipping point of how you’re able to amplify your holdings to get the most out of them. The next lessons will continue to grow your knowledge on this topic.
Still need some additional help? Contact us today to learn about how our services can help your business thrive.
We’ve gone over the first four big blunders that you need to avoid to protect your company in our previous blogs. Today, we’ll cover the final blunder: not having enough operating cash for your business.
Cash flow is one of the essential things to carefully watch for your business, even during the good times. There’s always the chance that you could run out of cash flow even if your business is doing well. One of the best ways to handle your getting your cash flow balanced is getting on time payment from your clients. For many of you, this may seem like the beginning of a headache, but it’s critical for your business to remain successful.
Get your payment process on track with these tips:
- Send your invoices on time, and always keep your records up to date for potential audits.
- Double Check your invoices for accuracy before sending them out. You don’t want to over or under charge your clients.
- Talk to your clients about how they process their payments to you. Get any information necessary on how best to invoice them, such as the best address.
- Get the contact information of the person that’s in charge of handling the orders and payments to you in case you need to speak to them in the future.
- Design a follow-up process just in case it’s needed.
- Get in touch with your contact as a last resort.
There are some ways that you can protect your cash flow. Here are some tips:
- Keep track of when accounts have to be paid.
- Speak with your suppliers to work on lowering costs as much as possible.
- Design a contingency plan for the bank just in case you need it.
- Create your own network of investors.
Following through on these tips can help you keep your cash flow balanced during the good times and the slow.
All of these lessons have the intention of helping you find and bring in new clients that are bigger and better than your previous ones. These lessons are the best way to grow your business and find success. It can take time to follow through on all of these steps, but going through them accurately will help you to find success.
Need some assistance with handling these tasks? Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how they can help you in building a better, more successful business.
Previously, we went over the first two big blunders that you should avoid when making deals. In this lesson, we’ll go over the next two: biting off more than you can chew and having all of your expectations on one contract.
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Taking on too much business before your company can handle it can backfire. It becomes impossible for your company to keep up with all of the demands on it from your clients. This situation can turn into one where you’re unable to function and lose control. For your business to be successful, you need to have a clear plan for how you’ll handle growth. You must be able to provide the high-quality service, products, and customer service that your clients will expect from your company. Their concern is their business, not how your company handles things behind the scenes.
Defeat this blunder by looking for these signs:
- Some or all of your clients aren’t having their needs met.
- Your clients aren’t happy, your staff morale is down, and you feel panicky.
- You and your staff are always in emergency mode to handle customer needs.
- You’re losing profit and clients.
- You have to reallocate your resources.
- You’re trying to hold your business together with your fingertips.
It may be time to implement the Mock Fish Plan. It’s a valid plan that makes it possible for you to react positively to what’s going on so that you can put your business back on the right track before it’s too late.
What this plan does for your business:
- Add sales for the short term
- Improve your services and products
- Make it possible to meet any promises to clients
Steps in the Mock Fish Plan:
- Create a team made up of your best employees that can meet the needs of your clients.
- Go over your current operations.
- Brainstorm potential problems and determine how to solve them.
- Improve your communications process.
- Put costs in all of your quotes.
- Make a backup plan to fall back on.
Having All of Your Expectations on One Deal
You’ve probably heard the phrase do not have all your eggs in one basket meaning that this one basket could break with all of your eggs in it. You don’t want to depend on one client or deal for your company. There are going to be times when that client isn’t as active as you’d like or they may have a situation that comes up where they’re no longer your client. What happens to your company if this happens? Your business may suffer. It’s vital to have a diverse range of clients to keep your business prosperous.
Problems with one client can result in difficulties with potential clients. Here are some steps that can help you create a stable company with a secure future:
- Stay connected with your client’s company to have an idea of what’s going on internally not to get blindsided by news that could impact your deal.
- Stay aware of your industry and revamp your company to remain industry leaders.
- Remain exclusionary.
- Have a goal of contracts and commitments that are long-term rather than one year.
- Contracts should be spread out among a variety of clients.
- Stay aware of your pricing within the industry to keep your prices competitive.
It’s essential to reduce the dependency that you may have on just one client. You’ll be able to measure this with either profits or sales. It may be helpful to go back and look over previous lessons to find the best way to bring on more clients to achieve this balance.
Another lesson down on how to avoid these blunders to keep your company running strong. Need help with your business? Contact us today to learn about our services and how they can make a difference for your company.
Our next lesson will cover the final big blunder that you need to avoid for your business.
When it comes to your business, there are five big blunders that you need to avoid. Each of these blunders can turn into deal enders with potential clients.
- The expectations of the client go unmet
- Crisis situations are botched
- Biting off more than you can chew
- Having all of your expectations on one deal
- Not having enough operating cash for your business
These blunders are so big that not only could they potentially kill a deal or partnership, but they may even end your company. As these blunders are very important to understand so you can avoid them, we’ll go over them over the next few blogs to get a real feel for them. We’ll go over the first two in today’s lesson.
The Expectations of the Client Go Unmet
When going into a deal, both parties will have certain expectations of what they expect from it based on the negotiations building the agreement. Not giving your client what they expect out of this deal is a surefire way to kill the deal. If something comes up that makes it so that your client’s expectations aren’t met, you have to not only fix the situation but also determine how to prevent it from occurring again with this client or the next.
Potential reasons for this type of problem:
- Communication breakdown. A lack of communication between the deal makers and the department that handles supplying the service can result in the client not getting what they expect.
- Poor sales skills. Your salesperson may have been seeking the deal in such a way that they didn’t really pay attention to the client or what they needed.
There are some steps to take in creating an action plan that will prevent this blunder from occurring:
- Take a moment before speaking to think about what to say.
- Take breaks.
- Practice makes perfect for your process.
- Take the time to format your over-deliverables in advance.
- Don’t be hands-off during the process, but get involved.
- Have a definition of success.
Crisis Situations Are Botched
People expect for a crisis to happen, and often, that’s not enough to sink a deal. What will make or break your company is how you respond to the crisis situation. This response and the fix are what defines your company in the client’s eyes. This fact means that you have to react efficiently to avert the crisis quickly. Being the company that steps up in the right fashion when things go wrong will build confidence and trust between you and your client.
Here are some tips for handling a client crisis:
- Borrow from the British: Keep calm and carry on.
- Take control of the crisis yourself.
- Be first to apologize and take responsibility for the crisis.
- Avoid placing blame on other parties involved.
- Don’t wait to respond, but be swift and useful in your actions.
- Keep up constant communication during the crisis to keep a sense of transparency.
- Don’t take your eye off the ball until the crisis has been successfully dealt with.
There you have it. The first two big blunders, and how you can avoid them.
Do you think your business could be better helped? Contact us to learn more about our services.
Don’t miss out on our next blog where we’ll go over the 3rd and 4th big blunders that you need to avoid.
Previously, we discussed gearing up for the big first meeting, and it can seem for some people, that means it’s okay to stop pushing on the accelerator that the hard part is over. While it’s true that getting the first impression over with can help to break down potential barriers, it’s not time to stop or slow down. You want to pick up speed. This speeding up is all about building and nurturing the relationships you’re building with your champion.
You want them to be your biggest cheerleader not only in the meeting but beyond. You’ll want to show them appreciation to keep your partnership profitable with your champion by keeping them loyal to you.
You can accomplish this in a few ways.
- Don’t take up all the limelight. Let them take credit for their accomplishments in getting the deal signed. Give them a chance to thank their team and company with new services and products.
- Help them to be connected emotionally to your brand.
- Find ways to make them happy.
- Be vigilant for when something needs to be addressed right away.
- Have the foresight to know when they need to be left alone.
Each of these techniques can help you in building that rapport which can lead to a solid working relationship. It’s important to continue networking with a company as more alliances can help you to bring in more clients. Word of mouth referrals can make your business. You can often build more relationships by having something to offer in exchange.
Things you have to offer include:
- Improved experience at work
Each of these offerings can help to build more alliances. When determining if a new champion is right for you and your business, you should determine what beyond the money they have to offer your company.
What to look for includes:
- The ability to help your business grow
- The ability to gain more experience and the opportunity to learn about growing your business
- The ability to advance the way that you currently do business or your systems and processes
Following these tips can help you to build a powerful and useful network while keeping your partnership vital and current.
Need some additional assistance with this topic? Contact us today about how our resources can help you move your business forward.
You may think that you’ve already made your first impression during your wooing of your potential client to set up your first face-to-face meeting. While it’s true that you’ve already started to make an impact on the person you’re meeting, it’s nothing compared to what they’ll take away from your first encounter. What you do before, during, and after your meeting can set the stage for a positive outcome now and into the future.
Once you’ve set the date, there are several activities and brainstorming necessary to prepare.
- Create an agenda for the meeting covering everything that you’d like to accomplish during the session.
- Brainstorm any concerns and questions that the client may have during the meeting to ensure that you can have a response prepared for them at the meeting.
- Find ways of how your service will make your client’s life easier as a way to promote your product.
- Boost your credibility during the meeting through providing research, other client feedback, and other methods.
- Run through your presentation for practice in advance of the big meeting.
- Go over any activities that will prepare you and your staff for the meeting.
Activities for During Your Meeting
When the day of your meeting arrives, there are several activities that you need to keep in mind during the meeting.
- You may find that it’s necessary to bring all other key staff members to present portions of the presentation. It’s better to have them on hand to answer questions then to leave the client hanging.
- Follow the lead of your client when it comes to the format you present.
- Be ready to listen. Yes, you’re going to go over your presentation, but it’s vital that you pay attention to what the client has to say whether it’s comments or questions.
- Follow through on any promises made for the meeting, such as having a particular figure or information they need to make a decision.
- Provide them with the information necessary to seal the deal.
After the Meeting
You also should have several activities in place after the meeting, no matter the outcome.
- Follow through with any promises made during the meeting as soon as possible.
- Continue to work on the relationship between your company and the client.
- Don’t get discouraged from hearing no. Go over what went wrong and what went right to find how you can prevent the problems and strengthen the positives.
Incorporating these different activities can help you to make a rockstar impression on your client during the meeting by selling yourself and your company.
The Elephant in the Room: Negotiation
One of the hardest things to handle is the negotiation during that first meeting as it can be intimidating. There are a few tips that can help you in making negotiation come naturally to you.
- Create a pricing strategy, and stick with it. It can be easy not to set prices and just go with the flow, but this not helpful in the long-run.
- Determine what you’re offering to the client, and prioritize the best characteristics first. This information will help you determine what you can give in on, and what really matters to you.
- Take your time, and don’t feel as though you need to give in too quickly in the process. This action can lead to you selling yourself short, but knowing your value can help.
- Keep in mind that no matter what you’ll still have to deliver a quality product or service at a price you agree upon.
- Focus on negotiating with the person rather than the company they represent. Don’t allow them to put the company before what they believe would be a good partnership.
- Remember that you shouldn’t lowball yourself too much. Once you’ve agreed to a figure, it’s complicated to get that number up. You need to make sure that you’re keeping your profits in mind.
- Offer add-on services that can boost your profit margins and provide for the client’s needs.
- Write up any requests for proposals that you get carefully to achieve a deal that does more than look good on paper.
The negotiation process doesn’t have to be feared when you know exactly how far you can go without sacrificing too much just to get a yes.
Nurturing Your Champion
Once you’re dealing with a company, it’s essential to maintain a good relationship with your contacts. This contact is the representative of the company that you’re speaking, and you should be grooming this individual or individuals to be your champion. You want them to be your ally now and in the future. This relationship can make it possible for them to vouch for you in the future in case of additional dealings.
While you may not be able to have free reign to pick your champion, there are a few characteristics that you want to look for in your potential champions.
- Your champion should be someone that is respected in the company by supervisors and decision-makers.
- Your champion should be able to consider the long run for their company’s interests rather than just short-term gains.
- Your champion should have a good social network.
- Your champion knows how to handle the system and get things done.
- Your champion should be the type of person who’s willing to give credit where credit is due.
- Your champion should have similar vision, values, and philosophy as you to work well with you.
You have the tools and know-how to prepare for all the exciting details of your first meeting. You’ll be able to plan and execute your proposal while working on improving your business relationship with those involved.
Targeting the right clients for your business is one of the most crucial aspects of efficient marketing and sales. We all want to go after the biggest fish, those with the most money to spend and the biggest imprint in the industry, but you should be able to focus your efforts on the most likely and beneficial candidates. In our previous post, we talked about the importance of targeting big clients and choosing the ones that are most likely to utilize your services or buy your products.
Once you have identified the best targets, it is time to move forward with your first contact. Although it should be a well-known element of any successful business, the importance of a good first impression cannot be overstated. While clients may not immediately decide to give you their business after a first contact, they may certainly choose not to do so if you make a bad impression.
5 Steps to a Good First Impression
The following are some basic, fundamental steps in making the right impression to move things to the next stage.
- Send out an introductory email that is unique and tailored specifically to pique the interest of the big client. It should be quick and concise, simply introducing your business and briefly describing what you can do for them.
- After 2-3 days, follow up the email with your first phone call. While you may not want to push too hard on the initial call, there is no reason not to try and set up a sales meeting right away.
- Immediately after the call, send a follow-up email thanking the client for his/her time, quickly recapping the call and offering more details into the specific benefits of your company as they relate to the client’s needs. The email should also invite them to schedule a time for a sales presentation.
- Wait 3-5 more days and call again. This call should not only be used as a pitch to provide more benefits for the client but also as an opportunity to develop a relationship with him/her. Be more focused and more determined to set up a presentation during this call.
- If the previous contacts have not secured a meeting, do not be discouraged. Wait a week or so and then repeat the steps listed above, continuing to build a rapport and develop a relationship with the potential client. Try new techniques and offer to stop by and introduce yourself in person if the first cycle of steps has not been effective.
The Right Person for the Job
After the first impression has been made, it is time to move on to the real meat of the process and begin your sales efforts in earnest. But there is no one size fits all approach to sales, and certain clients may respond better to different styles and approaches. With that being said, it is crucial that you choose the right man or woman for the job when sending someone to pitch a big client. While there are countless types of salespeople, many of them will fit into one of three main categories:
- The Professor: This person makes his or her sales based largely upon the vast amount of knowledge and the deep understanding of the product/service that can be shared with the client. The professor is most effective with logical, realistic clients who take an analytical approach to making deals.
- The Buddy: This is the person with a natural ability to bond and form connections with anyone. More than just being a friendly salesman or someone with whom clients would like to play golf, the buddy can build personal relationships in a way that is meaningful and lasting for your clients.
- The Closer: For the fast-moving, no-nonsense clients, the closer can provide all the relevant information without wasting any unnecessary time or breath. This person is generally more aggressive than the other types and makes his/her pitches in a concise, direct and authoritative manner.
Of course, most salespeople will exhibit characteristics of more than one type, but you usually know which of your people fall into which category. Understanding the needs of the client and knowing who within the company has the purchasing power will help you match the client to the right salesperson.